Fantasy Basketball: The Thunderous Week of Russell Westbrook

By Jeff Rosenberg
Cary Emondson-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has officially released the winners of the Eastern and Western Conferences’ Player of the Week awards for games played from Feb. 04 through Feb. 10 2013. The Miami Heat’s LeBron James took home the award for the East, while Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook locked it up out West. While both players’ numbers were great for any individual, no community can appreciate animalistic stats like these quite like the fantasy basketball world can.

“…Zero tolerance, that’s Westbrook.” I couldn’t say it any better than Waka Flocka did, as Westbrook had absolutely zero tolerance for any defensive schemes he saw this week. Let’s get into the numbers.

Westbrook’s Feb. 04, 2013 line vs. Dallas Mavericks:
Thunder 112, Mavericks 91
24 pts (8-16 fg) (8-9 ft) (0-1 3pt), seven assists, three rebounds, three steals

The Thunder started the week off at home against the Dallas Mavericks. Westbrook led the game in points, field goals made and free throws made, while tying for a game-high three steals with Shawn Marion. Westbrook’s defensive assignment for the night was Darren Collison, who was held to only eight points and four assists in about 24 minutes.

Westbrook’s Feb. 06, 2013 line vs. Golden State Warriors:
Thunder 119, Warriors 98
22 pts (8-19 fg) (6-8 ft) (0-3 3pt), five assists, three rebounds, four steals, one block

Westbrook kept his momentum going on both sides of the court against the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 06. Westbrook again led all players in the game in free throws made and attempted. Number zero put up a solid 22 points despite a mediocre 8-19 shooting performance. Westbrook’s major contributions in this one came on defense, where he held Stephen Curry to 5-20 shooting from the field, and only 14 total points. Westbrook led all players in this one with four steals, and his defensive performance helped lead to the Thunder’s blowout of the Warriors.

Westbrook’s Feb. 08, 2013 line vs. Phoenix Suns:
Thunder 127, Suns 96
17 pts (8-14 fg) (0-2 ft) (1-2 3pt), six assists, five rebounds, two steals, one block

While he only played about 25 and a half minutes in round one vs. the Phoenix Suns, Westbrook had his most complete fantasy basketball game this week in the Thunder’s 127-96 blow out at home against Phoenix. Westbrook’s line helped fantasy owners across the board with his incredibly efficient 8-14 shooting from the field, coupled with the contributions in assists, rebounds, steals and blocks.

Westbrook’s Feb. 10, 2013 line @ Phoenix Suns:
Thunder 97, Suns 69
24 pts (8-15 fg) (6-8 ft) (2-3 3pt), six assists, one rebound, four steals

Round two of the Suns and Thunder last week looked a little different than the one two days prior, but ended with a very similar result. The Thunder molly-whopped the Suns again, this time in Arizona. Also similar, was the game from Westbrook. Westbrook again was incredibly efficient from the field, going 8-15, as the Suns showed everyone they just cannot defend, with or without Mike D’Antoni. Again, Westbrook played under 30 minutes, as the Thunder entered the fourth leading the Suns 74-48. You know it was a bad night for Phoenix when they have Jermaine O’Neal listed as the team’s top performer on the night (3-5 for seven points, eight rebounds, one assist).

To top it all off, the Thunder went 4-0 in their games played during Westbrook’s eventual award-winning stretch.

Russell Westbrook’s Total Stats Week of Feb. 04-10, 2013:
87 pts (32-64 fg) (20-27 ft) (3-9 3pt), 24 assists, 12 rebounds, 13 steals, two blocks

Russell Westbrook’s Average Stats Per Game Week of Feb. 04-10, 2013:
21.75 pts (50.0% FG) (74.1% FT) (33.3% 3PT), 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 3.25 steals, 0.5 blocks

On the week, if you had Westbrook in your lineup, I’d say you jumped out to a pretty nice lead in field goal percentage. With any sort of front court depth on your team, field goals made was probably a cake walk for your squad. Additionally, Westbrook had the most steals on the week in the NBA, which certainly helped you secure another category. I’m sure the points and assists were welcomed too.

In the end, Westbrook secured his first 2012-13 Western Conference Player of the Week award. Others mentioned for consideration for the award included Thunder teammate Kevin Durant, Greivis Vasquez, James Harden and Tony Parker. This week at least, Westbrook’s “laughin’ at ‘em.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter: @Jewish_Jeff

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